Can the Business Model of Handelsbanken Be an Archetype for Small and Medium Sized Banks? A Comparative Case Study

Journal of Applied Business Research, vol. 30, no. 3, pp. 869-882, May/June 2014

14 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2015

See all articles by Morten Larsen

Morten Larsen

Aarhus University

Jacob Nissen

Aarhus University

Rainer Lueg

Leuphana University - Department of Accounting; University of Southern Denmark - Department of Accounting

Christian Schmaltz

Aarhus University; True North Institute

Joachim Thorhauge

Aarhus University

Date Written: 2015

Abstract

The Danish Banking sector faces increasing requirements regarding regulation and profitability, which especially threatens small and medium sized banks. This study analyzes whether the successful business model of Handelsbanken (‘The Handelsbanken Way’) can serve as a blueprint for small and medium sized banks. We conduct a comparative case study by interviewing Handelsbanken and the disguised ‘Danish Local Bank’ (DLB). The DLB is a representative example of small and medium sized Danish banks. This study is structured according to the frameworks from business model implementations and from implied organizational structures.

Using the notion of Osterwalder and Pigneur (2010), this study reveals only minor differences in the business models of Handelsbanken and DLB. Despite the supposedly obvious advantages of ‘The Handelsbanken Way,’ this study suggests that the financially troubled small and medium sized banks in Denmark will not necessarily benefit from the tactical choice of decentralization unless they incorporate specific adjustments. This study contributes to the existing theory if Handelsbanken’s approach to banking can improve the situation of financially troubled small and medium sized banks.

Keywords: Business Model; Decentralization; Handelsbanken; Banking; Organizational Structure; Financial Crisis

Suggested Citation

Larsen, Morten and Nissen, Jacob and Lueg, Rainer and Schmaltz, Christian and Thorhauge, Joachim, Can the Business Model of Handelsbanken Be an Archetype for Small and Medium Sized Banks? A Comparative Case Study (2015). Journal of Applied Business Research, vol. 30, no. 3, pp. 869-882, May/June 2014, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2561360

Morten Larsen

Aarhus University ( email )

Nordre Ringgade 1
DK-8000 Aarhus C, 8000
Denmark

Jacob Nissen

Aarhus University ( email )

Nordre Ringgade 1
DK-8000 Aarhus C, 8000
Denmark

Rainer Lueg (Contact Author)

Leuphana University - Department of Accounting ( email )

Scharnhorststraße 1
Wilschenbrucher Weg 69
Lüneburg, 21335
Germany

University of Southern Denmark - Department of Accounting ( email )

Campusvej 55
DK-5230 Odense, 5000
Denmark

Christian Schmaltz

Aarhus University ( email )

Nordre Ringgade 1
Aarhus, DK-8000
Denmark

True North Institute ( email )

145-157 St. John Street
London, EC1V 4PY
United Kingdom
+49-17621761996 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.tninstitute.eu

Joachim Thorhauge

Aarhus University ( email )

Nordre Ringgade 1
DK-8000 Aarhus C, 8000
Denmark

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